Creating Sustainable Cities
Why the urban model of widely separated high-rise towers in single-use residential districts—the “tower-in-a-park” model invented in the 1920s in Europe—is inefficient.
What's the Latest Development?
Dennis Frenchman, a professor in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), and Christopher Zegras, an associate professor in DUSP, are investigating the relationship between urban form and energy use in China, specifically the city of Jinan.
What's the Big Idea?
Frencham says that the biggest city-planning challenge facing China faces is to encourage a different form of urbanization than its current design model of widely separated high-rise towers in single-use residential districts. "Our work has shown that this way of living consumes almost twice as much energy as any other form of development, such as, for example, a conventional, mixed-use urban neighborhood on a grid of streets and blocks."
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.
- Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
- Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
- Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
There's a growing understanding that drawing is much more than an art form: it's a powerful tool for learning.
- We often think of drawing as something that takes innate talent, but this kind of thinking stems from our misclassification of drawing as, primarily, an art form rather than a tool for learning.
- Researchers, teachers, and artists are starting to see how drawing can positively impact a wide variety of skills and disciplines.
- Drawing is not an innate gift; rather, it can be taught and developed. Doing so helps people to perceive the world more accurately, remember facts better, and understand their world from a new perspective.
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